Rustic Dining Table with Jimmy DiResta | Build It | Ask This Old House

This Old House
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Uploaded On 2019-01-21
Ask This Old House host Kevin O’Connor returns to Upstate New York to build a farmhouse table with maker Jimmy DiResta.
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Time: 4-5 hours

Cost: $1000

Skill Level: Moderate

Tools List for Building a Rustic Dining Table:
Circular saw
Table saw
Surface planer
Framing square
Tenon joiner
Rubber mallet
Palm sander

Shopping List:
Maple slabs
Table legs kit
Floating tenons
Wood glue
Wax finish
Wood glue

1. Use the circular saw to cut all the wood slabs to a rough, workable length.
2. Rip off any live edges or other irregularities with the circular saw.
3. Pass the boards through the table saw to straighten the edges. To do this, pass the board through the table saw multiple times and flip the board each time it’s passed through. Do this multiple times until the board is straight along the fence of the saw.
4. Plane all the boards using the surface planer until they are a uniform thickness.
5. Arrange the boards on a workbench and experiment with each board to see how they best fit and look together.
6. Using the framing square, mark on each board where the floating tenons will join each board together.
7. Use the tenon joiner to cut out holes on each side of the boards on the mark. Some machines have options to make the hole the exact size of the tenon and also slightly larger than the tenon. To ensure and easy but tight fit, cut holes the exact size of the tenon on the left sides of all the boards and cut holes slightly larger than the tenons on the right sides of the boards.
8. Add wood glue into the holes in all the left sides of the boards. Then, hammer in all the floating tenons into those holes with the rubber mallet.
9. Add wood glue to all left sides of the boards and the other side of the hammered in tenons. Spread it out and ensure wood glue covers the entire surface being secured together.
10. Connect the boards together using the floating tenons and the rubber mallet. As each board gets flipped, exposing the right side of the boards, add more wood glue to that side before securing the left side of the next board.
11. Clamp the tabletop together until the glue dries, or about two hours. Once it’s dried, square up the ends with the circular saw and give everything a good sanding.
12. Assemble the legs from the preordered kit.
13. Finish the legs with stain, a finish coat, or paint, based on preference.
14. Apply a finish to the tabletop. In the video, Jimmy applies a wax finish with some rags.
15. Secure the tabletop to the legs and apron using a drill and wood screws.

The spalted maple slabs were provided by Vermont Wildwoods ( ). The table legs kit was provided by Classic Designs by Matthew Burak (

To fasten the table together, Jimmy and Kevin used wood glue and floating tenons. The glue is manufactured by Gorilla Glue ( ) and the floating tenons are Dominos, which are manufactured by Festool (

Expert assistance with this project was provided by Jimmy DiResta (

About Build It:
This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, This Old House host Kevin O’Connor, and special guests including Jimmy DiResta, take you through step-by-step DIY projects in this popular video series. From end-tables to cutting boards to wine racks to chicken coops and more, learn how to build from the best pros in the game. Segments include mention of all tools and materials needed to get the job done.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we're ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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Rustic Dining Table with Jimmy DiResta | Build It | Ask This Old House